Last weekend the surfnslide crew came to stop for the weekend. We’ve had a few Whitsun get togethers before, both down in Herefordshire at their house and here in Silverdale. This one was all too brief, just the long weekend, but got our week off to a great start, and, to me at least, has made it feel like I’ve had a much longer break than a week. (Not a bad trick!)
As usually seems to be the case, the weather was a bit mixed, but we definitely made the most of it, filling in the time between decent spells of weather with various board games and the usual menu of chit-chat and cups of tea.
On the Saturday morning, before the storms came, we had a short stroll down to the Cove and then across the Lots, where we played frisbee for a while as you can see above.
At the Cove some of the children wanted to explore the smelly cave and another fetid little hole they have discovered on the other side of the Cove at the base of the cliff.
The back of the Cove is once again resplendent with a mass of small yellow flowers, I think it’s Sea Radish, although, having just read the relevant entry in ‘The Wildflower Key’, I now know how to distinguish Sea from Wild Radish, so I shall check on my next trip. Anyway, the radishes, of whatever variety, were thronged with various small insects.
This striking red weevil like creature (I can’t find what it actually is) was the smallest I photographed.
I think that this rather dapper chap may be some kind of Saw Fly, but there over 400 British species and my ‘Complete British Insects’ only has photographs of a handful of them.
There were many Bumblebees, but they are constantly on the move and always hard to photograph.
This is a Red-tailed Bumblebee, a worker. Sometimes I am slow on the uptake: it’s finally sunk in that the huge bumblebees I see, mainly in the spring, and the much smaller ones I see in the summer, are of the same species, the size difference being because queens are so much larger than workers.
On the other hand, random titbits of information seem to nestle in obscure corners of my brain. I knew, when I saw it, that this…
…was a ladybird larva. With a bit of lazy internet research I now think it to be a 7-Spot Ladybird larva. Odd looking creature.
There were a fair few hoverflies about too. I was pleased to capture an image of this specimen in flight, and doubly chuffed to find that it is easily identifiable, because of the pattern on the abdomen, as Episyrphus Balteatus, a very common species which apparently sometimes migrates in swarms from continental Europe. Quite a competent flier then!
Alongside the radishes there is a substantial patch of Crosswort. My collection of herbals and plant books have little to say about this unassuming plant with it’s whirls of tiny yellow flowers, but I am always cheered to find it.
The plant surreptitiously creeping into the righthand-side of the photo is Goosegrass or Cleavers or Stickyweed, a close relative of Crosswort. Both are Galiums, apparently from the Greek Gala meaning milk, as Goosegrass at least was sometimes used as a rennet in the production of cheese.
On the Lots, the Early Purple Orchids have finished, and the Green-winged Orchids…
…are not far behind. According to ‘A Guide to the Wild Orchids of Great Britain and Ireland’, Green-winged Orchids were once widespread, but ‘must now be considered a threatened species’. A sobering thought.
After our short outing, the afternoon brought a terrific display of dark skies, lightning and thunder and then very heavy rain. We watched from our patio as impressive bursts of forked lightning cleaved the skies and listened to the rumbles of thunder, apparently coming from all sides. When the long threatened deluge finally arrived, we retreated inside. Quite a show while it lasted though.